Uber self-driving auto program hits latest roadblock

Mar 30, 2017, 00:51
Uber self-driving auto program hits latest roadblock

As a result of the incident, the firm had halted self-driving operations in the area.

A spokesperson for the Tempe, Arizona police department said that the crash occurred when one vehicle did not yield to the Uber auto when doing a left turn. Uber also grounded self-driving cars in San Francisco over the weekend, but resumed operations earlier yesterday. No one was hurt and police said the other driver was at fault, but Uber said it would suspend its tests while it investigates the incident. "Our cars will be back on the road in Tempe and Pittsburgh later today", an Uber spokesperson told Reuters.

With that being said, Uber's self-driving auto programme has faced a substantial amount of controversy.

The San Francisco-based startup endured a shaky December rollout in California - including running red lights - that culminated in a standoff between Uber and state regulators who wanted more transparency and reporting.

An Uber autonomous SUV was involved in a three-vehicle collision in Tempe on March 24, 2017. No injuries have been reported as yet apart from damage to at least two other human-driven cars that were within the vicinity. The difference between the California program versus the ones in Arizona and Pennsylvania is that California does not allow passengers to ride in the vehicles.

Uber began picking up passengers with its self-driving cars in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe last month, with Gov. Doug Ducey taking the inaugural ride.

Uber moved the majority of its self-driving auto testing to Arizona in December 2016 when the California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked the company's autonomous testing permits.

However, it is not the first time that Uber's self-driving vehicle program is being mired in controversy. One Uber auto made headlines when it failed to recognize a red light and drove through a crosswalk on a busy street.

This kind of accident will become more and more common, according to Michael Ramsey, an autonomous vehicle analyst at Gartner.

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